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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
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Do splints work long term?

I have been suffering with tmj pain for over 5 years. I've been wearing splint at night and was told it is not good for permanent use. I still get headaches and facial pain as well as popping when I one my mouth. Any suggestions about what works to relieve pain without surgery or medications?

 
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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Re: Do splints work long term?

What kind of splint are you using? There are a variety of splints all designed with different purposes in mind.

Personally, I think that wearing a splint just at night for TMJD isn't very useful. because your jaw isn't in the same positioning during the day.

There are many dental specialists out there who specialize in helping with TMJD. It might be wise to seek out another opinion for treatments.

For your headaches and facial pain, a good physical therapist can help. It sounds like your muscles are in constant spasm. Getting some therapy can help you loosen the muscles up.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: Do splints work long term?

I am wearing a hard acrylic splint for upper and one for lower teeth. My general dentist prescribed something that fit over my two front teeth and caused severe pain the next morning and day. Then I went to a TMJ specialist who trained at the Mayo Clinic and he swears by the splint he prescribed to me. The claim was that it relaxes my jaw muscles at night and helps with the pain the next day; however, I am still in pain the following day. Do I need a prescription to see a Physical Therapist? Are there one's specializing in TMJ? Also, do you know of any TMJ specialists in the Central Florida area? I appreciate the feedback.

Last edited by Want relief; 08-19-2012 at 09:03 PM.

 
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: Do splints work long term?

The splint that goes over your two front teeth is probably some kind of NTI. I tried that kind twice with two different TMJ specialists and they were horrible. I had intense pain with them and refused to use them any more. I think the longest I lasted with either one was 2 weeks. My current TMJ specialist crafted other splints that were much more successful for me.

I found that each dentist who treats TMJD have their own philosophies. I went to one who treated 100% tmj patients and taught at a large university. His approach was completely wrong for me. I had to seek out someone else who worked met my needs better.

Why do you have both upper and lower splints? What kinds of splints are they? (How many teeth do they cover? Are they flat or bumpy? Are they for protection or treatment?) When do you wear them?

The need for a referral to a PT depends on your insurance. Most require it, but not all. I got a referral from my TMJ dentist. The tricky part is finding a properly trained PT who can treat TMJD. My referral was for cervicalgia and myofascial pain. Those were covered by my medical insurance where direct TMJ isn't.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Do splints work long term?

There is a sticky thread at the top of this board with a list of dentists that other board members have recommended. Some appear to be not too far from you.

There is at least one other active board member from your general area. Maybe they will choose to share the name of their dentist.

From my personal experience, I recommend seeking out a specialist trained in Functional Orthodontics with additional training in treating TMJ.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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Re: Do splints work long term?

I wear one that goes over both upper and lower all teeth. It has worked fine because I was grinding my teeth and probably wearing them down badly. I can go 2 weeks without the headaches and its tolerable. I checked the thread and did not find any Doctors in my area. I really want to stay away from an Orthodontist trained in TMJ because it was an Orthodontist that originally referred me to the TMJ specialist (in an Oral Surgeon's office) Orthodontist said that braces would not work for me due to pain. Also I have read that Orthodontics and Occlusal Adjustments are not reversible so these treatment options should be avoided.

 
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: Do splints work long term?

Orthodontists do more than braces. Mine does sleep dentistry and is an expert on a variety of splints for sleep issues, breathing issues and TMJ.

From your description it sounds like your splint is more designed for sleep issues.

A proper 24/7 splint can help you get your muscles out of spasm. I really don't see how a nighttime only splint can help with that long term. I encourage you to seek out another opinion.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Do splints work long term?

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Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
Orthodontists do more than braces. Mine does sleep dentistry and is an expert on a variety of splints for sleep issues, breathing issues and TMJ.

From your description it sounds like your splint is more designed for sleep issues.

A proper 24/7 splint can help you get your muscles out of spasm. I really don't see how a nighttime only splint can help with that long term. I encourage you to seek out another opinion.

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:24 AM   #9
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Re: Do splints work long term?

Would a neuromuscular dentist be effective? I've read that they Treat underlying symptoms and not just give drugs to alleviate problem. Thy also prescribe orthotic worn all the time.

Last edited by Want relief; 09-01-2012 at 10:25 AM.

 
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